Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

 

12th October

1920 So called Low Caste Sikhs were denied entry into Harmandir Sahib.

The newly baptised "low caste Sikhs", at the annual session of Khalsa Bradari, were taken to the Golden Temple accompanied by reformers. This was a direct challenge to the Mahants. The priets of Sri Harmandir Sahib refused to accept Karah prasad from them or offer prayers for them. However, the reformers insisted on the right of every Sikh to do that. After theological discussions, Sri Guru Garnth Sahib was consulted. The Granthi amongst the objectors, read out third Guru's hymn, "Brother, He showers grace even on those who have no merit and takes from them true Guru's service. By touch of Philosopher's stone, i.e., base metal has become gold . Our light has blended with His light, and we have become one with Him." The priets, visibly affected offered prayers and accepted prasad from the hands of the newly converted Sikhs.

When the whole party went to Sri Akal Takhat, the priests there fled leaving the Guru Granth Sahib unattended. Bhai Kartar Singh Jhabbar and Teja Singh of Bhucher appointed a committee of 25 Sikhs for the management of Sri Akal Takhat. Thus the pujaris ousted themsleves. They did not return even when called by Sunder Singh Ramgathia, the new Sarbrah. They were accused of sacrilege. The following day, the Deputy Commissioner constituted a provisional committee of nine, all reformers, including Prof. Teja Singh, Bawa Harkrishan Singh, Teja Singh Bhuchar, Kartar Singh Jhabbar and others with Sunder Singh Ramgarhia, as its head to manage the two shrines. Teja Singh Bhuchar was appointed the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takhat. There was no plan for the struggle that so miraculously developed into the Gurudwara Reform Movement.

1920 Sri Akal Takhat came under Panthic control of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. Bhai Teja Singh of Bhuchar made a suddden swoop on the Akal Takhat and took possesion of the shrine.

==> AKAL TAKHAT - an institution, initially named Akal Bunga, established by Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib in sunmat 1665 for Sikh Governance, located in front of Harmindar Sahib, Amritsar. Regular diwans were conducted daily, during early morning and evening by Guru Sahib. AkalBunga, represents the centre for all Panthic jathaebandia (groups). It is where Gurmat resolutions are announced and procalamations made that are binding to all Sikhs around the world. Akal Bunga is the first Takhat for Sikhs and hence popularly known as Akal Takhat. Some of the arms preserved at this location include:

1. Sri Sahibs (swords) of Guru Hargobind Sahib that represented Miri and Piri
2. Sri Sahib (sword) of Guru Gobind Singh Ji
3. Sri Sahib (sword) of Baba Buddha Ji
4. Sri Sahib (sword) of Bhai Jaetha Ji
5. Sri Sahib Baba Karam Singh Ji Shaheed
6. Sri Sahib Bhai Uday Singh Ji, who was with Guru Gobind Singh Ji
7. Sri Sahib Bhai Bidhi Chand Ji
8. Dudhara Khanda (double-edged sword) of Baba Gurbakash Singh Ji Shaheed
9. Dudhara Khanda (double-edged sword) of Baba Deep Singh Ji
10. Dudhara Khanda of Baba Nodh Singh Ji Shaheed
11. Khadag Bhai Vachitar Singh Ji which weighed 10 Saer
12. Guru Hargobinds Sahib's "Guraj" weighing 16 saer. It was given to Dharamvir Jassa Singh by Matta Sundari
13. A sword like weapon belonging to Guru Hargobind Sahib Guru Hargobind Sahib's Katar
14. Baba Ajit Singh's Katar
15. Baba Jujhar Singh's Katar
16. Guru Hargobind Sahib's kirpan
17. Guru Hargobind's Paeshkabaj
18. Baba Deep Singh's Paeshkabaj
19. A sword like weapon of Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed
20. Pistol of Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed
21. Two arrows of Guru Gobind Singh each cxontaining one Toala of gold
22. Medium sized Khanda of Baba Deep Singh Ji
23. Two kirpans of Baba Deep Singh Ji
24. Two small Khandas of Baba Deep Singh Ji
25. Chakar Of Baba Deep Singh Ji
26. Small Chakar of Baba Deep Singh Ji
27. Baba Deep Singh Ji's chakar for head decoration

-Ref. Mahan Kosh (pp. 36)

1923 Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and Shiromani Akali Dal were declared unlawful bodies. The government took, with serious concern, the political demand for restoration of the Maharaja of Nabha who was forcibly deposed on July 8, 1923. On this demand, the government brooked no compromise. The goverment was concious that al, other issues behind jaito agitation were religious in nature and had stirred deep feelings among the community. As such, it has permitted the Jathas to move unhindered in the British teritory and wanted to deal with them in Nabha state territory. The Jathas, once in Nabha, were told to give an undertaking that they will not indulge in political activity; i,e., ask for the restoration of Maharaja. Upon refusal, they were arrested and dispersed to remote and inhospitable places. A policy of repression was institiated. And a press communique charged the SGPC and the Akali Dal with "sedition and conspiracy to verawe the Government." Both organizations were declared unlawful and 50 members of the SGPC were arrested and charged with conspiracy to wage war against the King Emporer.

-Source "The Sikhs in History," by Sangat Singh, 1995.

1923 Babbar Dalipa of Dhamian arrested at Mian Channun, District Montgomery.
1982 A Sikh procession carrying the ashes of the 34 Sikhs, killed on September 11, 1982 was fired upon by the police near the Indian Parliament House. Four Sikhs were killed including a saint, Jang Singh. The police also fired inside the Gurdwara. An Indian daily newspaper "Indian Express" published the photograph of police aiming their rifles towards the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj and in the picture, Sikhs could be seen very, very far away from the scene.

-Ref. THE SIKHS' STRUGGLE FOR SOVEREIGNTY, An Historical Perspective By Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer and Dr. Awatar Singh Sekhon. Edited By: A.T. Kerr Page 110-119.

 

1996 Sri Singh Sahib, Ranjit Singh, Jathedar Sri Akal Takhat, was released after 13 years of jail. He was accused of killing the Nirankari Chief in Delhi in 1980.



 

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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